TheJoyOfHack

For people who like to make things

Today’s post will be short and sweet. I want to share something that worked for me really well when I recently started my new job. There are a few existing iOS products for which I will have to become the primary developer. I needed to come up to speed on these products quickly. I started of the way we developers normally do: read internal documentation, examine the Main.storyboard file, look at the AppDelegate.m file. But then I got a good idea. I asked the salespeople to demo the product to me, as if I were a prospective customer.

[This is the eighth of my 30 days posts.]

That worked brilliantly on a few levels. First of all, it helped break the ice and get a good conversation going between ‘the new guy’ and the sales staff. Secondly, it helped me get an idea of the app without the biases that the app’s developers unintentionally bring to the conversation. Third, it helped me learn about features that the sales people wish the app had, without having the deep background system knowledge to know (or think I know) how complicated those features would be to implement. Finally, it helped me ask more fundamental questions without the filter of prior experience.

All in all, it was half an hour very well spent.

See you tomorrow.